Giants Departure Named ‘Best Overall’ Signing of Free Agency

Packers signing Giants safety Xavier McKinney called "best overall" move on NFL free agency.

Getty Former New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (right) is expected to thrive with his new NFL franchise.

The New York Giants decided to reshuffle their finances in 2024, boldly allowing running back Saquon Barkley and safety Xavier McKinney to walk in NFL free agency.

Although this might have been the correct course of action for Big Blue, that doesn’t mean departures like these won’t end up thriving elsewhere. The Green Bay Packers’ signing of McKinney is already getting a lot of attention around the NFL community, for example.

During an ESPN experts article on March 23, staff writer Matt Bowen called the McKinney addition the “best overall” signing of free agency so far.

“As a safety with multidimensional traits, McKinney tracks the ball well and has the coverage skills to match in the slot,” Bowen reasoned. “That’s a fit for a Green Bay defense that will be much more aggressive with its coverage and pressure tendencies under new coordinator Jeff Hafley.”

He added that “McKinney, 25, has nine interceptions and 14 pass breakups in his four pro seasons.” The Packers inked McKinney on a four-year, $68 million deal.

Xavier McKinney Voiced That It ‘Feels Good to Feel Wanted’ After Signing With Packers

In case you missed it, McKinney posted on social media on March 15 after agreeing to terms with the Packers — and he appeared to throw some shade at the Giants organization and fanbase.

“It feels good to feel wanted and to see it .. like really wanted by these fans and the organization,” he expressed at the time. “To Packers fans you will get my best every single day 🤞🏾 thank you for this opportunity real talk 🙏🏾 LETS GOO ! #GoPackGo 🧀”

A popular comment from an NYG supporter said what most of the fanbase was probably thinking after reading this.

“Giants fans appreciated you too bro 💔,” the user replied, although that can get lost in translation during contract negotiations.

Clearly, the Big Blue front office did not offer McKinney what he was hoping to earn. That could make a homegrown talent feel unwanted, even if it’s business decision.

As for the fanbase, a large contingent of NYG supporters wanted the defensive playmaker to return, so that’s a bit of a head-scratcher. But it can be human nature to focus on criticism rather than support.

Giants Insider Highlights ‘Biggest Remaining Roster Hole’ After Free Agency

During an article on March 21, ESPN NYG insider Jordan Raanan recapped the first couple of weeks of free agency in 2024.

“You can only do so much in one offseason, and the top priorities were to solidify the offensive line and improve the pass rush,” he outlined. “They succeeded, even if they’re worse off at running back and in the secondary as a result.”

Despite the losses, Raanan voiced that Brian Burns “is better than any pass-rusher that was on the market and the [offensive] line has four new reinforcements.”

Within the same write-up, he also highlighted the “biggest remaining roster hole” after free agency in his opinion.

“The Giants still don’t have a No. 1 wide receiver for [Daniel] Jones,” Raanan pointed out. “It may be addressed in free agency or via trade, but right now the group is headlined by Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt.”

If Big Blue avoids the QB position in round one of the NFL draft, most assume they will address this need with one of three prospects: Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze. A WR selection would give the Giants four or five strong pass-catching options in 2024 — depending on Darren Waller’s retirement decision at tight end.

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